Milo will not pursue noise ordinance
MILO—Supervisor Leslie Church announced the Milo Town Board will not implement a town-wide noise ordinance during their regular meeting Monday, Oct. 15. Church said the decision was made after reviewing a letter sent by the district attorney stating the town did not have “adequate resources” to prosecute local laws and that they will continue to defer prosecution to respective town attorneys, and because a proposed county-wide law did not have the full support of the Yates County Legislature or other Yates townships. She said she also spoke with the town attorney as well as other concerned Milo residents who did not want another ordinance in place and that “the board is unanimous in not doing a local noise ordinance.”
Church said the town has a policy of handling complaints in place and that the board intends to communicate with rental agencies to discuss how to better enforce noise limits on renters.
“We are all coming here concerned with our safety and our health, this is crazy,” resident Ned Rubin said. “Why should we not have one? Other towns have one. What is the purpose in exempting us?”
Deputy Supervisor John Socha said there is an entirely different situation over on Seneca Lake. He said many of those residents do not have the same problem as those who regularly attend the meetings, many of whom are residents of East Lake Road by Keuka Lake, and that they are against implementing more restrictions.
Church added it would be illegal to have an ordinance in specific places within the town, and that if an ordinance were passed it would have to encompass the entire town.
Many residents in attendance were still displeased with the board’s decision.
“We are living in a residential zone that has been turned into a water theme park all year long,” Rubin said. “People need to listen to the taxpayers when they say we are frightened by the fact that the cops can’t do anything. It’s a huge safety issue.”
Church said the current procedure requires two calls to be made in order for any action to be taken against a noisy neighbor, and that residents would need to file a complaint with the town. Church also added that after speaking with members of the sheriff’s department, she learned that nine times out of 10, violators would quiet down after that warning.
Resident John Roselli said he works with the sheriff’s department, and he knows that names of the complaining neighbors are never mentioned to the offending party. He said the only way they would be able to find out is if that neighbor filed specific charges against that person. Roselli added he thinks the rental property owners need to do a better job of enforcing their quiet hours policies.
Legislator Robert Schwarting said he would be willing to organize a forum of some sort with concerned residents, the chamber and the realtor management companies to see if they can come up with some solutions that address the path the board wants to take and work some things out. He said he understands the board still plans to do something about the issue just short of an ordinance, but something still needs to be done to fully address the situation.
“If you’re not going to do something, some of us will,” Schwarting said.
In other business:
• The results of the hydraulic-fracturing (fracking) survey came in, in which Councilman Gene Spanneut said there was a pretty good response and from the information they learned that many people are “not too enthused” about the potential for fracking in Milo.
The results say 75.8 percent of those who responded were against fracking being done in the town of Milo, with 13.9 percent in favor and 10.3 percent unsure. When asked if they knew what fracking is, 98.5 percent said they did. Of those who responded, 60.4 percent said they believe fracking will not provide economic benefits, with 23.4 percent saying they believe it can and 16.2 percent who are unsure.
Schwarting warned the board about relying too heavily on the results of the survey when making a decision on fracking, but Spanneut said they just wanted some baseline data and that it would not be used to make the official decision.
• The board passed a local law allowing the town to override the state’s two percent tax cap. Church said this is done as a safeguard against any potential error in the budget and that the town does not expect to go over the cap.